By Naomi K. Bonman
On Saturday, June 11, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California (RMHCSC) awarded 94 accomplished college-bound seniors scholarship funds totaling $288,000 during a celebratory event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The scholarships and medals were awarded during a recognition ceremony where recipients were honored and commended by their families, school counselors, RMHCSC representatives, and Southern California McDonald’s owners and operators. Chris Pan, founder of myintent.org gave an inspiring keynote message before the celebrations ended with photos and well wishes.
“The scholarship luncheon is a great opportunity to recognize our scholarship recipients for their hard work in front of their friends, family and McDonald’s franchisees” said Vince Bryson, CEO, RMHCSC. “We are committed to providing opportunities and resources that strengthen families and are inspired by what these students have accomplished and are looking to achieve.”
Among those 94 students was Perris’ Citrus Hill High School senior, Lela Owens. Owens is involved in her school’s STEM program and will continue her education within the STEM field at Duke University where she will be majoring in Computer Science. After she graduates from college, Owens wants to dive into a career with a major technology company, such as Google or similar.
“The Ronald McDonald Scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Lela Owens stated on being awarded. “It will definitely help to pay my tuition.”
Owens emerged into the STEM field after enrolling an AP Physics class during her Junior year. Her teacher at the time inspired her to look into field after telling her about another young Black woman who took the AP Exam and passed it. Owens wanted to pass it as well, and from there she found a passion for the industry.
In addition to receiving her degree, the rising scholar also wants to start a mentorship classroom at her high school. Her community service won’t start there though. Owens was the captain of her cheer team where she participated in hosting summer camps along with her team. She also tutored students at March Middle School in Mathematics.
Recipients of RMHCSC scholarships are selected through a rigorous application process and represent the highest caliber students in the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. These scholarships give the recipients an opportunity to pursue their education goals and help ease some of the collegiate financial burden. Interested applicants can begin the process for 2016 scholarships in October, 2015. More information about RMHCSC and its programs can be found at www.rmhcsc.org or on www.Facebook.com/RMHCSoCal and via Twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.